Christian Yelich clubbed a game-tying home run in the ninth inning, but Milwaukee reliever Junior Guerra gave up a solo homer to George Springer in the top of the 10th as the Houston Astros pulled out a 3-2, 10-inning win in the series opener at Miller Park.
Yasmani Grandal also homered for the Brewers other run.
Yelich was called out on strikes in the bottom of the tenth for the second time in the game. The other came in the sixth inning. Both calls by home plate umpire Ben May were high and out of the strike zone and it had the Brewers plenty mad.
“It’s two awful calls,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “I have to say it. It’s the magnitude of the spot, it’s the hitter. It’s bad calls. It’s bad umpiring.”
With reporters surrounding Yelich’s locker after the game, the Brewers right-fielder avoided going off on the umpire to avoid a fine by the league.
“I mean, you guys saw it, so I’ll let you guys make your own judgments,” Yelich said. “All I’ll say is go watch it yourselves, make your own judgments, see what happens. At the end of the day, it’s not going to matter. It won’t change anything that happened. It’s just how it works.”
All of the other teams in the National League playoff hunt, won their games. So, the Brewers fell four games behind the Chicago Cubs in the wild-card race and seven games behind the Central Division leading St. Louis Cardinals.
Gerrit Cole allowed just three hits and one run over six innings while striking out 14 Brewers. Cole now has 266 strikeouts in 176 1/3 innings.
Brewers left-hander Brent Suter returned to action for the first time since undergoing Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery on July 31st of last season.
Suter allowed a home run to rookie Yordan Alvarez in the sixth, but went on to give the Brewers seven outs. He received a standing ovation from the Brewers crowd upon entering the contest.
The two teams wrap up the series on Tuesday night at Miller Park. Jordan Lyles pitches for the Brewers. Zach Greinke gets the nod for the Astros.